The confluence of events leading up to and following President Trump’s election created a tinderbox in the run up to Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Be it Trump and certain incorrigible, bombastic supporters or certain members of the extreme left, who are equally as unreasonable, common sense and rationality - the sensible middle where compromise is often discovered – have been relegated to irrelevance.
At The Quintessential Centrist, we believe that Judge Kavanaugh should have been disqualified from serving on the Supreme Court; but not because of the allegations of sexual assault lodged against him. Ironically, it was Kavanaugh himself who created serious doubts as to his suitability to serve on the top court.
While numerous studies have concluded that the number of "unfounded" assault/rape accusations is only ~8% - and this low percentage is not surprising given the shame and humiliation victims are often subjected to when coming forward – we must also consider and put the following into perspective: Anybody can accuse anybody of anything, at any time and at any place. Consider that approximately 250 million adults live in the United States. Not only is it then reasonable to assume that one extremist individual might fabricate a story about somebody else in order to derail his or her career; we’d argue given a population of over 250 million people, it's unreasonable to assume that at least one person would not do so. Hence, even though false accusations are not representative of the overwhelming majority of sexual assault claims, given the sheer number of people who reside in America - and with that the possibility of malfeasance - we must be fair and reasonable when examining the circumstances of each and every claim.
Zeal on both sides of the political spectrum is one of the biggest unchecked threats to our civic society and our great nation. This is one reason why - though emotionally difficult at times like during Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony - we must be compassionate, but also consistent and assume that in cases similar to Judge Kavanaugh’s, all subjects are treated as innocent unless there is substantive evidence that would indicate otherwise. In this case, there was not.
Let us be clear, we are not challenging Dr. Ford's account. And as staunch advocates of women’s rights, we think it's appropriate to highlight the fact that women’s experiences regarding sexual violence have too often been discounted and not taken seriously enough. That said, we have no opinion on whether Judge Kavanaugh committed sexual assault. Our position is that there was no reliable evidence that would prove or imply that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Dr. Ford, or anybody else that accused him. Dr. Ford certainly appeared authentic and we are sensitive to her claims but there was no physical evidence, no corroborating witnesses and major gaps in her testimony. For that that reason, it was correct to advance Kavanaugh.
At TQC, the deciding factor in our opinion that Judge Kavanaugh should not have been confirmed as the newest member of the Supreme Court is a function of his wholly inappropriate responses to questions asked by certain members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. More specifically, it was his apoplectic rage, rather than the alleged instances of sexual misconduct, that created palpable doubt as to whether he was fit to serve as a Supreme Court judge.
In Judge Kavanaugh’s own words, “the Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution.” While Dr. Ford’s testimony was polite and cooperative, Kavanagh’s response was both partisan and belligerent. His misguided approach and inappropriate behavior underscored his prejudiced leanings. His conduct was anything but commensurate with that of a Supreme Court Justice. Specifically, Kavanaugh’s behavior was indicative of somebody who would not abide by Canon 2 of the Code of Conduct set for sitting judges.
Perversely, Kavanaugh’s defiant offensive during Senate questioning managed to unify moderates on both sides of the aisle regarding two points: that his temperament is not up to standards and that his partisan leanings are too acute for someone fit to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.
Before being thrust into the national spotlight, Judge Kavanaugh worked for decades as a judge in various courts and as a university professor. He had a number of female law clerks and interacted with many women daily. During that time, he was never accused of any impropriety. The charges leveled against Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh were personally debilitating. Some of the questions he faced during the grilling by lawmakers were intrusive, aggressive, off-color and borderline absurd. That being said, one could argue that Judge Kavanaugh was so livid and enraged because he was falsely accused of a serious crime. There was serious damage done to him, his family and friends. Consequently, he was unable to control himself and lashed out. It is fair to say that most people would have responded in an equally if not more abrasive way. However, most people will never be considered for the Supreme Court of the United States. A Supreme Court Justice most hold him or herself to standards that are materially above of what is expected of an ordinary citizen, regardless of the circumstances. Judge Kavanaugh did not adhere to a higher level of personal conduct that is a non-negotiable precondition to be granted the privilege to serve on the United States Supreme Court. For this reason, at TQC we think Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court should have been rejected.